Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Reactive vs. Reflective


Reflection moves along the time line with ease. Varying from one individual to the next, time in past, present and future defines regret, remorse, anger, joy, hope, and plans for one’s future self. At its best, reflection allows the individual to learn from past experiences, improve present performance and behavior, and steer toward a future better self. To plan ahead demands the capacity for self reflection which requires courage and the belief that you can help shape your own environment. In contrast, reacting to an ever-changing environment is taking the easy way out. Wait for troubles to arise, for threats to materialize, for others to take the risk to lead, and then react when and if there is no other choice. In a rapidly changing environment, reacting and reflecting merge, as the speed and weight of critical events converge and demand immediate response. Delay at all, and the opportunity is lost. Commit to plan, to lead, to be aware of your surroundings and their context. The answers, the plan, the decisions will come from within. The mind is only able to think and instruct with a single voice. But it will resist enslavement to external forces. Reflect and you will be open and free.


When the mind is thinking, it is talking to itself.

Have the courage to act instead of react.
Earlene Larson Jenks

A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.
Rita Mae Brown

The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.
Henri Frederic Amiel

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
Abraham Lincoln

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Old saying

In the main it is not by introspection but by reflecting on our living in common with others that we come to know ourselves. What is revealed? It is an original creation. Freely the subject makes himself what he is, never in this life is the making finished, always it is in process, always it is a precarious achievement that can slip and fall and shatter.
Bernard Lonergan

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons